MEDSCI 311 : Cardiovascular Biology

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An advanced treatment of the human cardiovascular system that provides an integrated framework for understanding the structure, function and regulation of the heart and circulation, and their modification by drugs. Topics include: the energetics and mechanics of the heart, the regulation of heart rhythm and the control of blood pressure and the regulation of flow through the microcirculation. The course is illustrated using examples drawn from current research in the field and from representative disease states.

Course Overview

It is an enjoyable paper comprising of exciting laboratory components, stimulating lecture content, and extremely helpful lecturers. At its crux, the course wishes to produce autonomous thinkers and competent scientists. Reading journal articles that are often written by the respective lecturers, producing your own experiments, presenting a poster and working in a team are some such core values Medsci 311 wishes to pass on. There are only 2 lectures a week so there is plenty of time to read and appreciate the cardiovascular system.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: MEDSCI 205

Course Contacts

Prof. Laura Bennet
Course Director        
Department of Physiology, FMHS, Grafton
Email l.bennet@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: 923 4890
Room: 503-401

Anuj Bhargava
Course Coordinator            
Department of Physiology, FMHS, Grafton
Email a.bhargava@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: 923 6200
Room: 501-002

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically appraise the cardiac structure and and its importance in maintaining the vascular function in health and disease as demonstrated with the heart failure models. (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Critically appraise the determinants of blood pressure and understand the physiological factors that contribute to development of hypertension and therefore inform treatments. (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Evaluate the foundations of cardiovascular structure in fetal life and how its understanding influences clinical treatments in adulthood. (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Critically analyse the data obtained in practical laboratories and present in a logical manner both as oral and written communication assessments. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Integrate the information, critically think and create new ideas based on recent scientific literature. (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Work safely and effectively in the field and laboratory and gain confidence in working in a group environment and contributing effectively (Capability 4, 5 and 6)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Final Exam 60% Individual Examination
Presentation 5% Group & Individual Coursework
Essay 10% Individual Coursework
Test 10% Individual Test
Reports 15% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam
Presentation
Essay
Test
Reports

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, a 3 hour lab session, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and based on previous students feedback, about 10+ hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials to complete and receive credit for components of the course.

Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings.

The course unlikely to will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.

Attendance on campus is required for the test/exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

For each lecture we have provided specific course objectives to help focus your study. We have a recommended text to assist in revision of basic cardiovascular physiology. If this text does not work for you, the library holds many more that may better suit. The more detailed knowledge required for the course will be found in specialist literature: books, reviews and original scientific papers. A list of starter references are provided for each lecture or module, but students are expected to read more widely. 

Resources
Recommended Text for Medsci 311 is: Berne RM & Levy MN. Physiology. 6th Edition Mosby Year Book Inc., 2007 but we highly recommend reading latest scientific papers presented during the lectures or suggested in the readings. You will have a much better outcome if you expand from what is presented in the Medsci 311 lectures.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Other Information

We have designed the MEDSCI 311 lecture series in specific modules, which allow you to focus on specific learning objectives for that module.

Module A: Cardiac Function and Pathophysiology
Module B: Cardiac Pharmacology
Module C: Cardiovascular Control
Module D: Fetal Physiology

However, each module provides important information which can be incorporated into your study of the other modules. For example, the determinants of blood pressure are cardiac output and vascular resistance. Thus knowing how normal blood pressure is regulated and the factors which lead to dysfunction (hypertension) requires you to know about both cardiac and vascular structure and function. From this you can then build a stronger understanding about how our cardiovascular system responds to clinical treatment, and how compromising the foundation of cardiovascular structure in fetal life can radically change our understanding about functional control and responses to clinical treatment.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

From this website: “Students should be aware that the course materials, and content and delivery of lectures in each course, are protected by copyright. Course materials have been copied either under the Education provisions of the Copyright Act 1994 or one of the Copyright licences the University has entered into. Recording of lectures is at the discretion of the lecturer. Lecturers own copyright in the lectures, materials they have created which supplement the course, and their power point presentations.

You must not copy, alter, distribute (for example on a social media site such as Facebook) or sell to any other person any part of these course materials or lectures. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action for copyright infringement by the copyright owner, and disciplinary action by the University.”

Lecture slides on CANVAS: it is the policy of the Department of Physiology not to automatically provide lecture powerpoints on Canvas. Lecturers may choose to do so, but this is at their discretion. They will either be put up prior to the lecture or just after the session

NO CELLPHONES ARE ALLOWED IN THE LABORATORY SESSIONS

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. Further information can be obtained from: http://www.auckland.ac.nz/teachingandlearning/ (Students - Plagiarism and Cheating section).
If you are under pressure or stressed by deadlines, discuss this with the Course co-ordinators. We are here to help you.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.

Disclaimer

Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.